Whether you are team natural or a makeup extraordinaire, it’s quite possible you have already carefully crafted your very own beauty routine. From a simple exfoliating scrub to rid your face of dry skin to a relaxing manicure to keep your nails cuticle free, we all just ultimately want to look and feel our best—no harm in that, right?
Unfortunately, our quest to keep our skin aglow and our hair voluminous through the use of personal care and beauty products does have many consequences—not only for our health—but for the surrounding environment as well. From causing pollution to wasting valuable resources—the products we put in our bodies directly affect the world around us. Here are 4 ways you can help make a difference in your beauty routine!
How to Green Your Beauty Routine
1. Go Chemical-Free
When using beauty products, the average woman comes into contact with over 160 chemicals each day—60 percent of which get absorbed into the bloodstream! Aside from the health implications this presents, chemicals found in everyday cosmetics and other beauty products are also detrimental to the environment. Dangerous ingredients found in sunscreens, body washes, perfumes, and cosmetics are making their way into waterways, poisoning animals, and are a significant source of pollution.
Avoid using fragrances – Synthetic fragrances are not only found in perfumes—they’re also common in body washes, moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners. Although you may have read through the ingredients label and thought you were in the clear, manufacturers don’t have to list every chemical found in their fragrances. Say goodbye to deceptive brands and hello to all-natural, organic, and nontoxic alternatives!
Say no to aerosol – A spritz of hair or deodorant spray may have you looking—and smelling—great, but the same cannot be said for the surrounding environment. Compressed gases found in these products are contributing to global warming and smog. Invest in non-aerosol sprays or try making your own products. Homemade hairspray for the win!
2. Turn Off the Tap
With all of our daily activities that involve using water—taking showers, brushing our teeth, flushing the toilet—it’s no surprise the average person uses about 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. Since water is one of our most valuable resources, it is important that we actively work to conserve as much as possible. Every drop saved helps!
Try waterless products – Although drinking water has numerous health benefits, water used externally can actually dry out your skin. For this reason, waterless skin care products, one of the newest trends to emerge out of Asia, use pure botanical extracts and oils instead of water as a base—saving water and better nourishing your skin!
Get a waterless mani and pedi – There’s nothing better than a spa day to treat yourself after a hectic work week—but a simple pedicure can use nearly 20 gallons of water! Be sure to ask if your favored salon offers waterless services and put in a friendly request if they don’t. Or skip salons altogether and get the same professional-looking, perfectly sculpted mani or pedi by doing it yourself!
Reduce Plastic Waste
Surprisingly, the average American throws away nearly 185 pounds of plastic each year—plastic that can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills! With 45 percent of all landfill waste being product packaging—the simple act of discarding cosmetic containers has far-reaching consequences. Help make a difference by recycling your plastic waste or skip purchasing items packaged in plastic altogether with these easy tips!
Use bar soap – Liquid soap may be easier to dispense, but it’s not good for the environment! Unlike its counterpart, liquid soap uses far more packaging, requires five times more energy to produce, and has a greater carbon footprint. If you’re worried bar soap will dry out your skin, there are many options readily available that are free of harsh chemicals and offer a neutral pH. You can also purchase bar shampoos and bar conditioners—all free of unnecessary packaging!
Make your own products – What better way to skip on the packaging—and the harmful ingredients—than to make your own beauty products! From deodorant to toothpaste, many store-bought products you commonly use can be easily replicated at home. You can also use kitchen scraps—fruit peels, tea bags, coffee grounds—to fight wrinkles, exfoliate your skin, and prevent acne breakouts.
Buy multi-use items – If you can’t find the time to make your own products, another great way to minimize plastic packaging in your home is to purchase multi-purpose beauty products! (Think 3-in-1 foundation.)
Invest in Reusable Products
Many beauty and personal care products are touted as being disposable—razors, makeup removing wipes, cotton balls, the list goes on. In order to keep these and other items out of landfills, try purchasing products that can be used more than once such as reusable cotton rounds, washable makeup remover pads, biodegradable toothbrushes, and ditch fully disposable razors for ones with only disposable heads.
Have you tried to green your beauty routine?
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